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Birds and Blooms ExtraBirds and Blooms Extra

Birds and Blooms Extra May 2018

Even more of what you love from North America's #1 bird and garden magazine, celebrating the beauty in your own backyard.  Published on the months in between the Birds and Blooms magazine, Extra features vivid photographs, useful tips and expert advice to inform, inspire, and connect enthusiasts who share a passion for backyard birds and gardening.

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7 Numéros


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from the editor

It was cold and rainy the morning of our company’s annual spring bird walk. Four of my bravest co-workers and I pulled the hoods of our rain jackets up and strolled into Lake Park, a local hot spot with walking paths that overlook deep tree-filled gullies along Milwaukee’s lakefront. It was late May—the best time to see the colorful migrating warblers that stop in our area for some rest and a few quick meals. Through the raindrops, we saw yellow, chestnut-sided and magnolia warblers, among other species. We trudged through puddles for about an hour until I admitted defeat with chattering teeth: “Guys, I don’t know how much longer I can stay out here.”The hour was a lucky one, though, because we spotted these fast-flying, flashy warblers in their…

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this month

CELEBRATE Make nature even more fun for the kiddos in your life by creating an outdoor search for them on National Scavenger Hunt Day, May 24. (COURTESY OF BURPEE) Experiment Grow something new this year, like one of Burpee’s Take 2 Combos that produce both slicer and cherry tomatoes. (Kirsten grew one last year and loved it!) (JEANETTA PHILLIPS) Get away The Mariposa (California) Butterfly Festival is May 5-6. A 5k run, a parade and the release of 5,000 butterflies are popular events. mariposabutterflyfestival.net GIVE Surprise the moms in your life with Birds & Blooms magazine. Order and pay for a gift subscription online and give a second one for free! birdsandblooms.com/give2gifts SHARE  Send us your best spring bird photos: birdsandblooms.com/submit ■…

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fresh sights

Hawthorn Crataegus species, Zones 3 to 9 Commonly used as a border plant in backyard landscapes, hawthorn is a wildlife haven that feeds nectar-seeking butterflies in spring and hungry songbirds in autumn. And hawthorns are host plants for larva of many butterflies, including white admiral and gray hairstreak. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun. Size: 20 to 45 feet tall. Grown for: Seasonal interest. Foliage: Burgundy to orange autumn color. Popular species: Washington ( C. phaenopyrum ) thrives in much of the U.S.; Crusader cockspur ( C. crus-galli inermis ) is thornless; black ( C. douglassii ) features edible fruits. BIRD BENEFITS Many hawthorn tree varieties have thorns, which are a blessing for nesting or roosting birds seeking shelter from predators.…

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offer a warm welcome

Hang a few birdhouses in your backyard and get ready for a rewarding adventure as you witness the awe-inspiring life cycle of birds.When birds nest on your property and raise their young, it’s so gratifying. “It’s the ultimate standard of success,” said Robyn Bailey, project leader of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program. “And it brings a greater diversity of birds to your backyard.” Here are a few tips to get you started. Choose the right house. Tailor the house to the bird you want to attract. If you’re hoping for a nesting songbird, buy a standard nest box with a 11/2-inch entrance hole, commonly called a bluebird box. Birdhouses with a smaller hole, about an inch in diameter, are ideal for chickadees and wrens.The needs of…

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the feed

Eastern bluebirds (MARGIE WHITLING) BIRDHOUSE ADVICE, TAILORED TO YOU Discover the best birdhouses to attract your local nesters with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Right Bird, Right House online interactive tool: nestwatch.org Carolina wrens (BENJAMIN CASH) COMMON BACKYARD TENANTS BluebirdsChickadeesDovesFlickersFlycatchersKestrelsNuthatchesOwlsPhoebesRobinsSwallowsTitmiceWoodpeckersWrens “The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.”WILLIAM BLAKE on the places we live in ■…

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rain garden favorites

1 Blue cardinal flower LOBELIA SIPHILITICA , ZONES 4 TO 9 Spires of beautiful blue flowers appear in mid- to late summer. It blooms later and tends to live longer than the red cardinal flower, a relative. Give this sun-loving perennial a bit of shade if your summers are very hot, and plant it in the wettest part of your rain garden. Why we love it: It attracts native bees, bumblebees, birds and hummingbirds. Plus it’s deer-resistant! (2: COURTESY OF PROVEN WINNERS - PROVENWINNERS.COM) 2 Buttonbush CEPHALANTHUS OCCIDENTALIS, ZONES 4 TO 9Add fragrance and seasonal beauty to sunny rain gardens with this native shrub. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees are sure to stop by the aromatic flowers in early summer. Later, round fruits replace the…